Horsin' Around: Popular Songs about Ponies
America's longstanding love affair with horses has more to do with the freedom associated with these beautiful creatures than the fact that we once relied on them for transportation. Anyone who longs for the lost days of the wild west and loves the rhythm of riding a horse is sure to enjoy these ballads to our faithful equine friends.
A Horse with No Name by America
Few songs paint a clearer picture of meandering through a desert landscape, calling out both the beauty and bleakness. Once thought to be about drug use, it was later revealed that writer Dewey Bunnell conceived it as a ode to escapism and the time he spent in a desert environment in his youth. The titular horse represents a sort of freedom from the demands of everyday life.
Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones
This heartbreaking song in a minor key perfectly captures the longing and loss associated with a breakup, which was allegedly the impetus behind the lyrics, as singer Mick Jagger's relationship with Marianne Faithful was coming to an end. Interestingly, the song was initially written by Keith Richards about the difficulties of leaving his newborn son to go on tour, but Jagger purportedly changed the lyrics, retaining only the popular phrase "wild horses couldn't drag me away."
Tennessee Stud by Johnny Cash
Is there any song that can't be made more profound by Cash's signature, graveled drawl? The stud in this song serves as man's best friend, carrying the singer away from trouble time and again until the pair fall for a golden-haired girl and her Tennessee mare.
Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphy
The quintessential song about the unbreakable bond between a girl and her horse, this folk ditty traces the path of a horse named Wildfire who runs away after his owner dies and is later seen sporting a ghostly rider. Murphy said the inspiration for the song came from a ghost story his grandfather told him and a subsequent dream he had. Freedom is the underlying theme, but the catchy lyrics will have you crooning "wiiiiildfiiiiiire" days after hearing the song.
Beer for My Horses by Toby Keith
This country tune featuring Willie Nelson has a weird premise, no doubt, centering on the theme of vigilante justice and hearkening back to an era when evil men were made to pay for their misdeeds, apparently by posses on horseback. Keith said the idea came from an old cowboy toast, "Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses." The song later became the premise for the 2008 film of the same name, starring Keith as a deputy trying to save his small town from a crystal meth epidemic.
Back in the Saddle Again by Gene Autry
This oldie is a love letter to the free-wheeling cowboy lifesty